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Rise of the Separatists Era Book

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I wonder how difficult it will be to refluff the Clone career and specs to be useful for Separatist Battle Droids? Adjusting certain talents to work against humans (& Clones) rather than droids should be easy, but I'll have to see the entire set of trees to know if it's feasible to do a conversion vs. just making up a new set. I'd also like to see a high-end talent that allows "Jedi killer" droids to better penetrate Parry/Reflect, possibly something that adds +Rank (no more than 2 or 3 ranks should be available)  to the Strain cost of using those talents against the droid's attacks.

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On ‎12‎/‎8‎/‎2018 at 6:01 AM, HappyDaze said:

I wonder how difficult it will be to refluff the Clone career and specs to be useful for Separatist Battle Droids? Adjusting certain talents to work against humans (& Clones) rather than droids should be easy, but I'll have to see the entire set of trees to know if it's feasible to do a conversion vs. just making up a new set. I'd also like to see a high-end talent that allows "Jedi killer" droids to better penetrate Parry/Reflect, possibly something that adds +Rank (no more than 2 or 3 ranks should be available)  to the Strain cost of using those talents against the droid's attacks.

I'm not sure how thematically reasonable that is.  Most of the battledroids were just never that competent, and none of them seemed flexible enough to use more than one of the three new specs (Officer, Pilot, Trooper).  Flexibility is especially weird when converting over the career because Droids as PCs really need to hyperspecialize to be viable and these three specs all go in sort of different directions.  We really never see a "great" battledroid pilot except for ships that are droids (Vultures, Hyenas, Tri-Fighters) so converting the Clone Pilot spec to droids seems especially tough.  Generally, the most competent Separatist Droids were the Commando Droid, the Tactical Droid, and the MagnaGuard (and I guess the Droideka, but that's functionally a mobile emplacement and probably not a playable character for RPG purposes).  The MagnaGuard never demonstrated any ability to do anything creative or useful outside of pure hand-to-hand combat; there's a great argument for Marauder or Bodyguard, but somehow I doubt porting over Clone Trooper will be quite right for them.  The Tactical Droid already seems like a good match for most of the Commander specs so a converted Clone Officer may work, but the other two seem like longshots.  Finally, the Commando Droid, while probably being the most flexible (and the most comparable to a standard clone), can likely pull off something converted from Clone Trooper, the others seem like a reach.

Ultimately, even if you want to view the Separatists as having heroes and being ideologically equivalent to the Republic, the problem is that the droid army was still built to be disposable and favor quantity over quality.  Giving them their own career and specs is a tough sell because they just aren't built to be that flexible.  It's hard to see most of them as anything more than minions.

Of course, it's obviously all speculation until we get the book...

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7 hours ago, Dr Lucky said:

I'm not sure how thematically reasonable that is.  Most of the battledroids were just never that competent, and none of them seemed flexible enough to use more than one of the three new specs (Officer, Pilot, Trooper).  Flexibility is especially weird when converting over the career because Droids as PCs really need to hyperspecialize to be viable and these three specs all go in sort of different directions.  We really never see a "great" battledroid pilot except for ships that are droids (Vultures, Hyenas, Tri-Fighters) so converting the Clone Pilot spec to droids seems especially tough.  Generally, the most competent Separatist Droids were the Commando Droid, the Tactical Droid, and the MagnaGuard (and I guess the Droideka, but that's functionally a mobile emplacement and probably not a playable character for RPG purposes).  The MagnaGuard never demonstrated any ability to do anything creative or useful outside of pure hand-to-hand combat; there's a great argument for Marauder or Bodyguard, but somehow I doubt porting over Clone Trooper will be quite right for them.  The Tactical Droid already seems like a good match for most of the Commander specs so a converted Clone Officer may work, but the other two seem like longshots.  Finally, the Commando Droid, while probably being the most flexible (and the most comparable to a standard clone), can likely pull off something converted from Clone Trooper, the others seem like a reach.

Ultimately, even if you want to view the Separatists as having heroes and being ideologically equivalent to the Republic, the problem is that the droid army was still built to be disposable and favor quantity over quality.  Giving them their own career and specs is a tough sell because they just aren't built to be that flexible.  It's hard to see most of them as anything more than minions.

Of course, it's obviously all speculation until we get the book...

All good points. It does make me want to take an even more extreme approach to making battle droids playable. Rather than a battle droid PC being a single battle droid, I'd like to make a small unit of droids a single character. The talent tree would allow the size of the unit to grow and have more skill options, but essentially it becomes a minion group-like entity run as a single character for a PC. There would be a lot to work out--especially for equipment and healing/repair--so it's probably more trouble than it's worth, but I might still give it a go.

I'd also like to see what could be done with high-credit Separatist experiments. I imagine that an experiment in combining the brains of a Tactical Droid with the physicality of a Commando Droid would produce the equivalent of an ARC Trooper. While the Seps usually went for quantity over quality, exceptions probably existed even if limited to prototypes. Such exceptions can make for great PC options.

I do object to the idea that a Droideka is unplayable just because it's "functionally a mobile emplacement." I've seen non-droid Soldier (Heavy) characters are are little more than that at the start of play.

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Sadly, little of the player-aimed things in this book are likely to be all that useful in a Separatist Crisis game set a few years before the Battle of Geonosis. I suppose the Jedi stuff might be if Jedi PCs are allowed, and some of the Universal specs could work (I think, I'll want to look them over before committing on that). Still though, I'm not sure how much is useful for a campaign using the themes of Edge rather than Age or Force.

For my next outing with these rules, I'm looking at putting together "Zeros on Both Sides," a primarily Edge of the Empire game set to start in 25 BBY and drawing very loosely on Babylon 5 for some story influences. I'm sure I'll find something in this book useful even if I'm only skirting the edges of what it covers.

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6 hours ago, HappyDaze said:

All good points. It does make me want to take an even more extreme approach to making battle droids playable. Rather than a battle droid PC being a single battle droid, I'd like to make a small unit of droids a single character. The talent tree would allow the size of the unit to grow and have more skill options, but essentially it becomes a minion group-like entity run as a single character for a PC. There would be a lot to work out--especially for equipment and healing/repair--so it's probably more trouble than it's worth, but I might still give it a go.

That could be really interesting, though you could probably get something thematically similar (without reinventing the wheel in terms of game mechanics) by just playing a droid tech that was constantly building and enhancing battledroids. A Skakoan or Geonosian could be thematic. It would probably take a while to get off the ground though, in terms of necessary credits and xp.

Quote

I'd also like to see what could be done with high-credit Separatist experiments. I imagine that an experiment in combining the brains of a Tactical Droid with the physicality of a Commando Droid would produce the equivalent of an ARC Trooper. While the Seps usually went for quantity over quality, exceptions probably existed even if limited to prototypes. Such exceptions can make for great PC options.

Absolutely it would be a functional PC. It would just be hard to get there using the existing PC Droid species. The mechanical lopsidedness of the PC Droid species is so hard to work around; I've often wished for a more balanced official option.

Quote

I do object to the idea that a Droideka is unplayable just because it's "functionally a mobile emplacement." I've seen non-droid Soldier (Heavy) characters are are little more than that at the start of play.

I would have serious concerns if a player came to me asking to play any PC that was incapable of speaking, unable to fit in confined spaces, unable to climb a ladder, and lacked any digits capable of fine manipulation because it had guns for hands. In some of the (now Legends) fluff, it was also noted that they lacked normal photoreceptors, which means they also can't read or see lots of other details (apparently they "see" through some combination of proximity  and radiation sensors).

I'm not saying it's impossible to use one as a PC. I just feel like the munchkin alarm would be ringing pretty loud in my head if someone wanted to go this route.

Edited by Dr Lucky

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I would love it if there was something in there on the Republic Commandos but I doubt there will be much. My group wants to run a Clone Wars campaign where they get to be Clone Commandos playing at Knight Level and I've been working on how to balance that since I haven't found much on the forums (or anywhere really) where anyone else has done it for a whole campaign.

I'm looking forward to using the setting as a whole, though. Maybe it'll be off the boat in time for *next* Christmas!

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On 12/13/2018 at 9:50 PM, evo454 said:

I would love it if there was something in there on the Republic Commandos but I doubt there will be much. My group wants to run a Clone Wars campaign where they get to be Clone Commandos playing at Knight Level and I've been working on how to balance that since I haven't found much on the forums (or anywhere really) where anyone else has done it for a whole campaign.

I'm looking forward to using the setting as a whole, though. Maybe it'll be off the boat in time for *next* Christmas!

Wow, that's some serious optimism there :P

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On 12/13/2018 at 1:50 PM, evo454 said:

I would love it if there was something in there on the Republic Commandos but I doubt there will be much. My group wants to run a Clone Wars campaign where they get to be Clone Commandos playing at Knight Level and I've been working on how to balance that since I haven't found much on the forums (or anywhere really) where anyone else has done it for a whole campaign.

I'm looking forward to using the setting as a whole, though. Maybe it'll be off the boat in time for *next* Christmas!

I'm not sure what your trouble is.

I mean Soldier:Commando or any mixture of other appropriate Career/Spec + Katarn Armor (Knights of Fate).

Most of their gear can otherwise be extrapolated from, or found in existing materials.

So with perhaps the Clone species, the modular blaster, and one or two other minor things, you should have pretty much all you need....

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Just now, WolfRider said:

Human Mandalorian should work for a clone character. The clones from the clone war were Jango Fett's clones and Jango was a mandalorian.

Not according to the Mandalorians (or Lucas and Filoni).

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1 hour ago, WolfRider said:

Human Mandalorian should work for a clone character. The clones from the clone war were Jango Fett's clones and Jango was a mandalorian.

Emphasis is on "was."

Legends had Jango (and by extension Boba) be Mandalorians with claims to leadership of the clans.

Current canon has Jango simply being an expert bounty hunter who wore a set of Mandalorian armor and was considered to be a renegade and pretender by the actual Mandalorian government (as per the Canon article on Wookieepedia).

Since FFG is generally bound by the current state of canon as determined by Lucasfilm, Jango wouldn't be deemed a Mandalorian, regardless of what your personal feelings might be on the matter.

Also, the Mandalorian species write-up in Friends Like These includes two skill options, one being a free rank in a combat skill and the other being two free ranks in Knowledge skills (to account for the peaceful Mandos of TCW), so even that would need a bit of tweaking.

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59 minutes ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

lso, the Mandalorian species write-up in Friends Like These includes two skill options, one being a free rank in a combat skill and the other being two free ranks in Knowledge skills (to account for the peaceful Mandos of TCW), so even that would need a bit of tweaking.

To be fair, from a pure numbers standpoint both Regular Human and Mando Human would still do the job of a Clone just fine. It's not until you start getting into some really odd "Bad Batch Rejects" builds that it would start to get strange.

 

I'm really looking forward to seeing that FFG settled on for the species. It's been kicked around here so much with some really good and really bad proposals it'll be neat to see if FFG went with something like those, or something else.

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4 hours ago, Nytwyng said:

Not according to the Mandalorians (or Lucas and Filoni).

 

3 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

Emphasis is on "was."

Legends had Jango (and by extension Boba) be Mandalorians with claims to leadership of the clans.

Current canon has Jango simply being an expert bounty hunter who wore a set of Mandalorian armor and was considered to be a renegade and pretender by the actual Mandalorian government (as per the Canon article on Wookieepedia).

Since FFG is generally bound by the current state of canon as determined by Lucasfilm, Jango wouldn't be deemed a Mandalorian, regardless of what your personal feelings might be on the matter.

Also, the Mandalorian species write-up in Friends Like These includes two skill options, one being a free rank in a combat skill and the other being two free ranks in Knowledge skills (to account for the peaceful Mandos of TCW), so even that would need a bit of tweaking.

Jango Fett is still stated to claim  to be from Concord Dawn in current canon, however. Concord Dawn is a Mandalorian colony.

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1 hour ago, Tramp Graphics said:

 

Jango Fett is still stated to claim  to be from Concord Dawn in current canon, however. Concord Dawn is a Mandalorian colony.

To summarize from our previous discussion on the topic—-

Key word: “claim.”

Per the folks who currently make such decisions (and the character’s creator), he’s not Mandalorian.

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39 minutes ago, Nytwyng said:

To summarize from our previous discussion on the topic—-

Key word: “claim.”

Per the folks who currently make such decisions (and the character’s creator), he’s not Mandalorian.

Dude. Don't get pulled in. You know you won't be done until after Christmas.

Edited by Stan Fresh

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1 hour ago, Stan Fresh said:

Dude. Don't get pulled in. You know you won't be done until after Christmas.

Oh, I won’t. That’s why I summarized and made note that we’d already gone ‘round on the topic.

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At the end it's the same deal as Rey's parents. Until we get definitive proof, Jango and Rey's parentage is  matter of personal faith.

 

Either you have it, in which case the bunnies are unnecessary.

Or you don't, in which case... chocolate?

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7 hours ago, Ghostofman said:

I'm really looking forward to seeing that FFG settled on for the species. It's been kicked around here so much with some really good and really bad proposals it'll be neat to see if FFG went with something like those, or something else.

I could see them adopting the Mando Human stats, going with a +1 to Wound Threshold, -5 to starting XP, and providing some measure of combat benefit.  Not sure if they'd go with a free rank in a combat skill, since at that point they pretty much become a copy/paste of the Mando Humans but without the 'pacifist' skill option.  Might be a free rank in Discipline.

Possible they might get a bigger boost to Wound Threshold offset with a penalty to Strain Threshold, given they were designed/bred/conditioned to follow orders.

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On 12/8/2018 at 9:01 AM, HappyDaze said:

I wonder how difficult it will be to refluff the Clone career and specs to be useful for Separatist Battle Droids? Adjusting certain talents to work against humans (& Clones) rather than droids should be easy, but I'll have to see the entire set of trees to know if it's feasible to do a conversion vs. just making up a new set. I'd also like to see a high-end talent that allows "Jedi killer" droids to better penetrate Parry/Reflect, possibly something that adds +Rank (no more than 2 or 3 ranks should be available)  to the Strain cost of using those talents against the droid's attacks.

I’ve never understood the “I want to be a battle droid” mentality. Weirdly enough it comes up quite often.

They’re essentially  marionettes operated by the worst puppeteer ever to attempt the craft. I can’t understand how that’s more than a one-off session idea.

The only battle droid character I’ve heard of who could be long standing was one ran in a friend of mine’s campaign during the Imperial Era. The battle droid was programmed with maps and charts of a seperatist leader obsessed with the Sith. Occasionally the droid would blurt out something useful (which was the player spitballing ideas sometimes and the GM either going with or against it). Overall, the droid functioned as a composite bounty hunter.

I don’t get why more people aren’t interested in playing as Seperatist heroes over easily disposable minions. The Seperatist angle is far better than that of the Republic, and could lead to some great storytelling as well as better antagonists with the Jedi and Clones

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23 minutes ago, Flavorabledeez said:

I’ve never understood the “I want to be a battle droid” mentality. Weirdly enough it comes up quite often.

They’re essentially  marionettes operated by the worst puppeteer ever to attempt the craft. I can’t understand how that’s more than a one-off session idea.

The only battle droid character I’ve heard of who could be long standing was one ran in a friend of mine’s campaign during the Imperial Era. The battle droid was programmed with maps and charts of a seperatist leader obsessed with the Sith. Occasionally the droid would blurt out something useful (which was the player spitballing ideas sometimes and the GM either going with or against it). Overall, the droid functioned as a composite bounty hunter.

I don’t get why more people aren’t interested in playing as Seperatist heroes over easily disposable minions. The Seperatist angle is far better than that of the Republic, and could lead to some great storytelling as well as better antagonists with the Jedi and Clones

Pinocchio....

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7 hours ago, Donovan Morningfire said:

 I could see them adopting the Mando Human stats, going with a +1 to Wound Threshold, -5 to starting XP, and providing some measure of combat benefit.  Not sure if they'd go with a free rank in a combat skill, since at that point they pretty much become a copy/paste of the Mando Humans but without the 'pacifist' skill option.  Might be a free rank in Discipline.

 Possible they might get a bigger boost to Wound Threshold offset with a penalty to Strain Threshold, given they were designed/bred/conditioned to follow orders.

It would be kinda cool to see the 'clone' aspect represented as a more extreme difference in species template. Perhaps having the starting xp extremely diminished, but in effect already 'spent' on a uniform characteristic block. Maybe 'subspecies' as different templates for the clones.

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12 hours ago, Flavorabledeez said:

I’ve never understood the “I want to be a battle droid” mentality. Weirdly enough it comes up quite often.

They’re essentially  marionettes operated by the worst puppeteer ever to attempt the craft. I can’t understand how that’s more than a one-off session idea.

The only battle droid character I’ve heard of who could be long standing was one ran in a friend of mine’s campaign during the Imperial Era. The battle droid was programmed with maps and charts of a seperatist leader obsessed with the Sith. Occasionally the droid would blurt out something useful (which was the player spitballing ideas sometimes and the GM either going with or against it). Overall, the droid functioned as a composite bounty hunter.

I don’t get why more people aren’t interested in playing as Seperatist heroes over easily disposable minions. The Seperatist angle is far better than that of the Republic, and could lead to some great storytelling as well as better antagonists with the Jedi and Clones

Playing battle droids isn't really all that different from playing clone troopers. I'd never play either personally, but both are popular among others I've games with.

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5 hours ago, DarthHammer said:

It would be kinda cool to see the 'clone' aspect represented as a more extreme difference in species template. Perhaps having the starting xp extremely diminished, but in effect already 'spent' on a uniform characteristic block. Maybe 'subspecies' as different templates for the clones.

If I were going to do that I’d give them 3 Brawn, 3 agility, 3 willpower, 2 rest, 1 skill rank in Ranged Light, Ranged Heavy, Melee and Brawl, 11 base wounds, 9 base strain, and 20 xp.

it is slightly more points than usual, but only in combat skills where access to multiple isn’t that strong, and they lack the flexibility that others have.

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1 minute ago, Darzil said:

If I were going to do that I’d give them 3 Brawn, 3 agility, 3 willpower, 2 rest, 1 skill rank in Ranged Light, Ranged Heavy, Melee and Brawl, 11 base wounds, 9 base strain, and 20 xp.

it is slightly more points than usual, but only in combat skills where access to multiple isn’t that strong, and they lack the flexibility that others have.

Don't forget a Discipline. 

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6 hours ago, Rimsen said:

Don't forget a Discipline. 

I considered it, could do that and drop xp left to 15, but that would mean not being able to buy an off stat to 3 with duty/obligation/morality, which I liked the option of. Their higher willpower already gives them better than average human discipline.

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